Kim Krieger’s Calming Presence Changes the College Process

Ricky Amorim

You walk into your college counseling class and all you see is other students sweating, sighing, faces turning red, and their bodies are shaking as they stare at their college applications on their laptops. As you continue to see more students in the class, you start to feel the same way. Your college application is due on November 1 and today’s date is October 30. Your heart feels like it stops for a moment as you look at the deadline date compared to today’s date. You put your hands on your head and breathe at rapid rates. Minutes later, you see a women come in the classroom with a smile on her face as she goes up to each individual student and pulls a chair towards their desk. When she leaves their desk to move on to the next student, you can see the students have a little smile on their faces, their faces are no longer red, and the sweat seems to have dried within seconds. She comes up to you and, minutes after discussion, your breathing is back to normal rates and you feel that the inside of your body feels more slow and smooth. You watch her leave your desk to the next student and all you can do is smile.

During the fall and winter, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (SCH) college counselor, Kimberley Krieger, is going through one of the busiest times of her job. SCH seniors panic as college application deadlines are getting closer, and seniors still struggle with where exactly they want to go to college. Krieger’s job as a college counselor is to guide and help students find the college that best fits them. There are 127 seniors at SCH and even though not all the seniors have Krieger as a college counselor, she still sees that helping all the students with the college process is a big part of her job.

“I want all the students to know that I’m always available for them,” said Krieger. “I have open ears for hearing student college plans in order to help them find the right school for them”.

Krieger’s journey to becoming a college counselor was not one that she expected.  She had no aspirations of becoming an educator, and she used to major in economics in college and wanted to do something with business. After college, she went to graduate school to get her Master of Public Administration (MPA) and really liked the atmosphere of that field of study. She had time off during the summer and was looking for a job, and the Dean of Admissions at Carnegie Mellon University had her work in admissions at the University. When she finally got her masters, she knew that she wanted to become a college counselor. She moved from admissions at a college to being a college counselor at a high school because she got married and had a family. Being part of college admissions requires traveling and Krieger did not want to leave her family to travel across the country.

Brian Walter, the Director of College Counseling at SCH, admires Krieger and feels that she has the qualities of a good college counselor. 

“She is efficient, loyal, and knows the business very well,” said Walter. “She understands the emotions in the college admission process, and never gives up on students when they are struggling in their college search. She also cares about the students and knows how to help them achieve their college goals, and give them honest and accurate information.”

Walter also said that Krieger helped him become a better college counselor through being taught to not be very reactive and take things too personally while dealing with parents and students during the college process.

Students at SCH also admire Krieger and feel that she is a big part in helping them with the stressful college process. 

“I was deciding between two early decision schools because I loved both of them, but I was having trouble,” said SCH Senior Anna Mollen. “Mrs. Krieger took time out of her day to help me decide which school was the best decision for me. The school that I ended up picking was actually the best fit for me, and Mrs. Krieger is the reason why I was able to find the right place.”

Judging off college counselors and students pointing out positive qualities of Krieger, she does feel that there is a challenge that she faces in her job.

“The biggest challenge I face is trying to manage both parent and student expectations of their college choices,” said Krieger.

Krieger also feels that there is still room for improvement in her job.

“I’d like to do more of my writing during the summertime,” said Krieger. “It would make my job easier in the fall, but at the end of the day it is all about the students and their futures. I hope to see my students happy with their college decisions, and hope they can be successful during and after college.”